Letters to the Editor

Letters: Minimum wage, pensions, rent control, Linda Katehi

Jeneva Hammonds is a resident at Atria El Camino Gardens, assisted living home. Hammonds said she would be living under a bridge somewhere if it weren’t for her Social Security check.
Jeneva Hammonds is a resident at Atria El Camino Gardens, assisted living home. Hammonds said she would be living under a bridge somewhere if it weren’t for her Social Security check. apayne@sacbee.com

To end poverty, provide pensions

Re “Rising poverty dims golden years in state” (Page 1A, March 27): Increasing poverty among senior citizens is the result of the declining use of defined benefit pensions.

Cutting retirement accounts mean cost savings for employers, but poverty among the elderly is an expensive problem. It increases reliance on safety net programs, including In-Home Supportive Services and Supplemental Security Income.

Poverty can push seniors into unhealthy living conditions, homelessness and substandard housing, which creates demand for housing subsidies and for Medicare services. Elder poverty can force people to postpone retirement and compete for jobs with working-age people.

State and federal policymakers can address elder poverty by encouraging use of defined benefit pensions, which would ensure people have a reliable source of income and reduce their reliance on safety net programs.

Jason Orta, Sacramento

High housing costs must be controlled

Re “Rent control isn’t the right solution to housing shortage” (Viewpoints, March 31): Rent control may not be the solution to the state’s housing shortage, as Joe Mathews contends, but it is a good solution to one person’s housing situation.

As property values skyrocket, especially in urban areas, greedy landlords try to cash in on this by pushing rents up, and lower-income tenants out. Rent control is a brake on this unsavory practice. Thus, rent control is a rational solution to the shortage of affordable housing, the kind of housing that is in short supply.

John C. Reiger, Sacramento

GOP does bidding of big business

Re “$15 minimum wage heads to Brown’s desk” (Page 1A, April 1): Republican legislators claim they are supporting small business to give an appearance of caring, but they actually mean big business, which gives them their political donations.

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Big Bear Lake, says low wages aren’t the root cause of income equality. Have any Republicans gone to a supermarket lately? Have they bought their own gas? Have they had to pay out of pocket for medicine? I think the root cause is businesses.

Jim Kelley, Sacramento

Minimum wage hike is fool’s gold

If only it were so simple: Just raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, all workers making less will get raises, and there will be zero economic consequences.

Does anyone believe this? Of course not. In its own perverse way, this bill will benefit Democrats. The people getting the raises, not having learned about economics in school, will think this is a gift from caring Democrats and vote accordingly.

Those people who lose jobs or can’t get work because they are priced out of the market will go onto welfare and stay loyal to the Democrats, lest those evil Republicans will cut their benefits.

Finally, many of our most industrious young people and small-business owners who tend to vote conservatively will leave the state. The Golden State has indeed become the state of fool’s gold.

Charles Hummer, El Dorado Hills

One-size wage hike does not fit all

The minimum wage increase is a clear case of how one bill does not fit all.

There is some evidence that driving up the minimum wage will adversely affect business and consumers. This alone would make the bill dangerous for consumers and business.

Backbreaking work does deserve a decent wage. But flipping burgers or punching the keys of the computer at the fast-food outlet, taking tickets at the cinema, or any other endeavor requiring no special skill or backbreaking labor does not justify endangering the state’s economy.

It would serve the people of California well if Gov. Jerry Brown would send the bill back for a rewrite.

MA Figueroa, Sacramento

Linda Katehi is doing a great job

Under the able leadership of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, the rankings of 22 academic programs have improved.

Katehi has improved research and innovation and entrepreneurship as well as the quality of undergraduate and graduate education.

The chancellor should continue to promote excellence and innovation at UC Davis.

Gino Cortopassi, Davis


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